Our network: Guides | Hotels
Monday 17 June 2024
Italiano English
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani

Croce del Travaglio Place

Email this page | Printable
The fulcrum of everyday town life in Siena is Piazza Croce del Travaglio, whose name could derive either from the Medieval practice of erecting barricades made out of beams whenever there was fighting among the city’s factions or from a cross that once stood here pointing the way for pilgrims along the Via Francigena and towards the Spedale di Santa Maria della Scala.

A short section of Vicolo San Pietro connects the Piazza Croce del Travaglio with Piazza del Campo and all the city’s main streets join at this point - Banchi di Sopra, Banchi di Sotto (both part of the Via Francigena) and Via di Città. Any visitor to Siena is therefore advised to start his tour of the city from this point and make the square his reference point in that it lies at the meeting point of each of the Terzi districts that traditionally divide the city.

Banchi di Sopra leads from the Croce del Travaglio into the Terzo di Camollia district (Via Banchi di Sopra, Via dei Montanini and Via Camollia), filled with the patrician town houses of the great Senese banking families. A small incursion into the Ovile and Fontebranda quarters will nonetheless reveal the more proletarian side of this district, once the home to generations of wool weavers and cloth dyers. St Catherine of Siena was born here and it is recorded that St Bernardino of Siena often preached here. This is also the area of Palazzo Tolomei, Siena’s oldest surviving dwelling whose facade was started in 1270, as well as the imposing basilicas of San Francesco (with fresco decorations by Ambrogio and Pietro Lorenzetti) and Santa Maria in Provenzano or San Domenico, which stands out over the Fontebranda valley.

Banchi di Sotto, Siena’s second most important street, leads from the Croce del Travaglio into the Terzo di San Martino district, whose patron saint, Martin, is the protector of waywards and pilgrims. This street is in fact a section of the old Via Francigena, which runs from the Croce del Travaglio down towards Porta Romana. The term banchi used for these streets refers to the many trading stalls with which they were once lined, along with an abundance of craftsmen’s workshops. The Castellare degli Urgurgieri, known as one of Siena’s most magical spots, is along this street, as well as the Priora della Civetta contrada, the sumptuous Palazzo Piccolomini and the Logge del Papa – two of the few examples of Renaissance architecture in Siena.

Via di Città leads from the Croce del Travaglio to the Terzo di Città district, Siena’s religious and political heart. On one side there is the Duomo, with its spiritual combination of black and white marble, juxtaposed on the other side by Piazza del Campo – the highest expression of the wealth and serenity brought by the republican governors of Siena.
This is also the area where the earliest inhabitants of Siena first settled, protecting their houses with walled fortifications. Today Via di Città is lined with magnificent patrician town houses and qualified as the most densely populated area of town during the Middle Ages.


  General information
Town map 
Siena in the Renaissance 
Siena in the Middle Ages 
Siena in Antiquity 

  Transport in town
Map of Hotels in Siena 
Town Map Siena 

  Transport out of town
Train services 

  Where to Stay
Farm Holidays and Country Houses  
Residence, Apartments 
Bed & Breakfasts 
Historical Residences 

Reservation Services Siena 
Last Minute Siena 

  Where to eat and drink
Disco Dancing 
Pubs & Wine Bar 

Siena University 
University for Foreigners 

  Art and monuments
Palazzo Piccolomini and Palazzo delle Papesse 
Palazzo Chigi-Saracini 
Palazzo d’Elci degli Alessi 
Loggia della Mercanzia 
Palazzo Sansedoni 
Palazzo Chigi-Zondadari 
Fonte Gaia fountain 
Carthusian Monastery of Pontignano  
Forte di Santa Barbara 

  Art and religion
Church of Sant’Agostino 
The Duomo – The Cathedral of the Assunta 
Church of the Osservanza  
The Oratory of San Bernardino 
Church of San Francesco 
Short Biography of St Catherine of Siena  
St Catherine Sanctuary 
Church of S. Niccolò al Carmine 

  Museums and galleries
The Museo Civico 
Bologna-Buonsignori museum 
Accademia dei Fisiocritici 
I Musei Senesi 

  Art and tourist attractions
Cappella di Piazza 
The Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia 
Piazza del Campo 
The Montagnola Senese and the Fortified Village of Sovicille 
The Castles of Belcaro and Quattro Torri 


  The Palio of Siena
The Origins 
The July and August Palio 
The Contrade 
The Days of the Palio 
The Drappellone 
The Eve of the Palio 
The Corteo Storico Procession 
The Race 
The Patron Saint and Oratory of Each Contrada 
Weekly Appointments in each Contrada from April onwards 

Via di Città (formerly Via Galgaria), Siena’s Most Elegant Street 
Croce del Travaglio Place 
From Piazza del Campo to the Duomo Along Via di Città 
The Curves of Piazza del Campo 
Costarella dei Barbieri street 
Borgo d’Ovile 
The Terzo of Camollia – main streets 
Casato di Sopra e Casato di Sotto 
Terzo di San Martino district  
The Terzo di Città District - Via Stalloreggi, Via San Quirico 
The Terzo di Città District – The Pinacoteca Nazionale 

  What to see & do
Wedding in Siena 
Golf courses in Siena and Tuscany 
Wedding in Tuscany - Siena area 
San Casciano dei Bagni 
Chianciano Terme 
Bagni San Filippo 
Bagno Vignoni 
Rapolano Terme - Baths of San Giovanni and Baths of the Antica Querciolaia 
The Countryside around Siena and its Thermal Water Springs 

  Monte Amiata
Monte Amiata - nature tourism the year round 
SkiPass Monte Amiata 
WebCam sul Monte Amiata 
Meteo Monte Amiata 

  Specials - Out of town
Gift Ideas for traveling 
The Val d’Orcia and Its Main Towns 
Pienza - the old town centre 
Montepulciano - the old town centre 
San Quirico d’Orcia - the old town centre 
Montalcino and the Land of Brunello 
The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and the Crete 
The Crete Senesi 
Castellina in Chianti and the Via Chiantigiana Towards Siena 
Siena and Southern Chianti - from the Castle of Montalto to the Castle of Brolio and on to the Castle of Meleto 
The Chianti Hills - Monte Calvo, Monte Luco and Monte San Michele 
Cortona and the Valdichiana 
San Gimignano - The old town centre and its major sights 
The Val d’Elsa - Monteriggioni and Colle di Val d’Elsa 
Along the Old Via Francigena 

  Typical products
Typical Tuscan flavours 
Oleum Evo online selling 
Sapori Tipici Italiani buy online now 
il Prosciutto Cotto